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Businesses The Almighty Buck Hardware

Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin 78

The premise behind Coin is attractive: consolidate credit cards onto a single card-sized gadget. However, on Friday the company announced a delay in the release of its final version from this summer to spring of 2015, and in a way that angered many of the project's crowd-funding backers. The announcement of a delay was not only sudden, and quite close to the previously announced shipping date, but upset those who'd pre-ordered by outlining a confusing beta program that would involve an interim product release — recipients of the beta version (limited to 10,000) would have had to then pay $30 to upgrade to the final product. As CNET reports, the delay until 2015 remains, but with regard to that beta program, Coin has now reversed its stance. The beta program will be free -- meaning preorder customers who opt-in will no longer forfeit the $55 they paid and will still receive the finished Coin product next year. The program will also expand from 10,000 customers to 15,000. Regardless of whether your smartphone is running Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system, preorder customers can opt-in to Coin's beta program through its app and will be eligible for a device if they fall within the 15,000-person threshold. The order is determined by when you bought your Coin. Coin customers, some who placed orders as far back as November 2013 when the startup first opened its website for preorders, were displeased not so much with the product delay as with the way Coin handled the situation. The company had, as recently as August 14, sent out an update explaining that a long-awaited shipping announcement would arrive at month's end --yet without an indication that it may miss its shipping target.
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Major Delays, Revamped Beta For Credit-Card Consolidating Gadget Coin

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  • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:53AM (#47741391)

    All the major credit card companies will be rolling out soon-to-be-mandatory chip systems for their credit cards. The point of this chip is specifically to prevent copying of credit cards. Coin is dead in the water.

    Beyond this, how many register monkeys will decline the transaction because it's not the original card? I was trained at my old retail job by an actual Mastercard representative never to allow use of a credit card without a signed back, much less a card that's literally a personal copy.

  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:56AM (#47741399) Journal

    Technically, I see how it works but why would a merchant accept this thing? It doesn't look like a credit card and it's missing all of the anti-fraud elements built into the physical cards. According to their FAQ, Coin is trying to substitute an image on your smart phone plus their gadget for your physical card but I don't see that any of the actual credit card issuers are actually endorsing this. As a merchant you might be in violation of your merchant agreement by accepting this thing.

  • We need this why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @09:08AM (#47741455) Journal
    The premise behind Coin is attractive: consolidate credit cards onto a single card-sized gadget

    First, calling this thing "credit card sized" amounts to nothing short of a lie - More like a PCMCIA-card sized, or about four credit cards thick. It wouldn't fit in my current wallet, which doesn't even like holding the older embossed-number style cards because of the extra thickness.

    Second, my credit/debit/gift cards already come on credit card-sized devices. And they don't need batteries.

    Third, how many cards do people have that they need this? One credit card, one ATM card, and on the rare occasion I get a gift card for something, I use it ASAP to avoid some crazy terms of service eating the balance away. As the only possible audience I see for this, the sort of crazy coupon ladies who have two dozen store-specific cards just so they can play games with juggling discounts and no-payments-for-x-months - And even in that case, Coin only holds eight cards total, making it still useless.

    And finally, NFC has made the entire concept pointless. Coin has built dedicated hardware to do something that every smartphone (except the iPhone, because fuck you that's why) on the planet can do much, much better.

    So someone explain to me what I've missed here... What killer use have I failed to consider for the Coin?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin